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Knowing When to Call: Closing the Deal with an Optimized Calling Strategy

July 29, 2015 by

We talk a lot over here about being at the forefront of technology that enables seamless communication anytime, anywhere and from any device. The widespread adoption of mobile devices at home and in the enterprise continues to transform the way we communicate and conduct business – be it through text, images, video, and our old stand-by: voice. The key to making a successful connection with a loved one, a customer, a prospect, etc., is underscored by the ability to unify the process. Part of that success also lies in knowing the best time to reach them. For all the research and planning that goes into nurturing a prospect from a lead to a customer, doesn’t it also make sense to understand a prospect’s likelihood of answering your call?

We think it does. So to better understand answer rates, we recently analyzed data from over 25 million inbound phone calls to see when individuals are most likely to pick up the phone, when they’re inclined to ignore a call (if known or unknown), and, based on their location, the probability that they will hit “accept.” We then packaged up the findings into our latest report, “Answer Rates in the US: Knowing When to Call,” revealing ideal times for businesses to call prospects and generate qualified leads. We hope what we discovered helps enterprises optimize calling strategies to make time spent connecting with prospects and growing their business as efficient and effective as possible.

Here are a few of the key findings:

  • Known vs. Unknown Calls: Looking at the total call answer rates, individuals are more likely to pick up a call from a known caller.
    • 56% – Average overall percentage of individuals that answer their phone regardless of whether the number is known or unknown
    • 65% – Percentage of individuals that answer calls from known numbers
    • 43% – Percentage of individuals that answer calls from unknown numbers
  • Time of Day: Looking at hourly answer rates, calls from known numbers are answered at a fairly stagnant rate throughout the day, whereas individuals answer unknown calls more frequently later in the day. Answer rates for unknown calls drop off by 20% around 8 a.m., and creeps back up until 9 p.m. Answer rates exceed 50% after 8 p.m.
  • Weekday vs. Weekend Individuals are 6-8% more likely to pick up an unknown call over the weekend than on an average weekday.
    • 50% of unknown calls are answered on Sunday. This day proves to be when individuals are most willing to pick up an unknown call, with an answer rate 9% higher than the weekly low
    • 41% of unknown call are answered on Wednesday (the weekly low)
    • Friday is the weekday when individuals are most likely to answer unknown calls, with an answer rate of 2.5% higher than Wednesday.
  • East Coast vs. West Coast Overall, individuals on the East Coast are 2.3% more likely to pick up a call than people in the West, and 4.5% more likely to pick up an unknown call. In particular, four out of the five highest answer rates are in states located in the Northeast.
Increasing answer rates is in large part a function of knowing your audience. At the most nuanced level, these statistics reveal insights into who is most likely to answer a call and when they are most likely to do so based on geographic location and as a function of the work week/weekend. What’s more, the analysis exposes a number of calling techniques for people that anticipate being an unknown caller, which is particularly relevant for businesses making cold calls and in search of ways to optimize their call strategy to nurture prospects into qualified leads.

Looking ahead, the right technology will not only help you understand your buyer, but also help them know you even before they accept your call. For what it’s worth, the next generation of business intelligence may in fact make call data like this irrelevant. It’s all about giving callers the information they need when it matters most. With the ability of Big Data to provide richer caller ID profiles, the future is now.

The findings of the report can be found in our "Call Me Maybe" infographic.


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